Ben is pretty portable...pretty easy going...pretty interested in new situations so I didn't think it totally insane to have him tag along with me to my first ever acupuncture appointment with a well known Asian Acupuncture Doctor yesterday. Her English wasn't good but the look of horror she shot me as I came through the office door with my toddler was affective cross culturally; it came through loud and clear. I smiled nervously. I had a diaper bag full of treats and he was strapped in his stroller like a straight jacket, it would be fine, he would be fine.
"He be good?!"
"Oh yes he is a good boy". I reassured.
Unknown to us both at that moment upon hearing the magic words that jinx the universe with the Murphy's law of toddlers my small sweet boy began sprouting small devil horns right above his hairline.
This small but powerfully intimidating woman led us into an office with the temperature set to "sauna". She motioned for me to lay down and I parked Ben (strapped in with his big winter coat on) and his stroller beside me. There was no questions and certainly no explanation as she quickly and expertly pinged the small needles in various points in my body to the endless narrative.
"Mommy what dat lady doing"?
"Mommy dat hurt ya?"
"Mommy what dat now?"
"Mommy I have snack now?"
Each time he spoke (which until that moment I hadn't realized NEVER lets up) she raised a suspicious eyebrow at him.
"You lay still, no move." She looked at me
"You be quite, no talk to mommy". Her gaze rested on Ben who looked back at her intently. I didn't miss the small glint in his eye.
I lay still with my eyes closed imagining a beach, and waves and all things quiet, peaceful and calming to induce the flow of my "chi" and ultimately my labor.
Nothing. Maybe he will think I am asleep.
I had one more chance...I knew this.
I asked for that.
"Mommy, you sleeping?"
"Mommy wake up now!"
I looked at him, sweat was pouring down his forehead. crap. I had forgotten to take off his winter coat. There is no quicker way to make him crankier, he is hot at the best of times and won't even keep socks on in the dead of winter. He was starting to squirm around in his seat and lunging back towards my diaper bag...which I also forgot to take snacks out of before I lay down.
"Mommy? I want snack now".
The Doctors words rung in my ears...I wasn't to move...but what would be worse, my very limited movement or Ben's screaming. As I took a moment too long to wonder, I noticed Ben had become absorbed in something...a small needle... in his hand.
"BEN"! I hissed
"Where did you get that???"
"Right der". He pointed to my elbow closest to him where a small red dot lay in evidence.
I shoved it back in my elbow. She wouldn't notice right?!
I moved very carefully to an upright position (awkward at the best of times at the moment...) careful not to disturb any more needles. I reached to the diaper bag on the back of the stroller and passed Ben a Tupperware of crackers, corn snacks and kiwi and quickly unzipped his coat.
I closed my eyes again to his rhythmic chewing.
"Mommy? I eating kiwi".
"Mommy? Now I eating crackers, mmm I WUV crackers"... and the commentary began once again.
"Ben let's close our eyes and our mouths for a minute okay?"
Of course it wouldn't be that easy.
He jabbered on loudly and my chi turned negative quickly.
"Ben! Look at Mommy, you NEED to be quite! That means close your mouth for a little while okay? No more talking."
He glared at me.
and with that his horns grew an inch and he whipped his snack across the room. Kiwi flying over me and corn snacks popping against the walls.
"AHHHHHHHHHHH" he shrieked at me. Sweat beading on his forehead, outraged at me for being so unfair as to expect something so completely impossible from him and being disappointed with him for it.
You're right... I thought..you're right. What was I thinking??? Lesson learned, but the corn snacks weren't picking themselves up. I hoisted myself up once again and as quickly as I could picked up all the rogue snacks and stuffed them back into the container, striped off his coat and sweatshirt and stuffed a lolly pop into his clammy hand in hopes he would stop glaring at me.
I lay down just as she entered into the room.
Her eyes widened.
"WHAT YOU DO?"
"Hmmm?" I decided to plead ignorance.
"You move! I say no move!"
"Oh uh yes, well I had to um adjust a little bit. Did it still work?"
"I don't know... the angle all wrong, angle have to be juussss wite!"
$60.00 later we were thankfully out the door. I was exhausted and my thumb was throbbing. I was imagining all the things I messed up in my body by ruining the angle of the thumb needle when Ben decided to go in for one last bit of payback by arching his back at superhuman angles to avoid at all costs being strapped into his car seat.
"Benjamin! PLEASE! Mommy has NO MORE patience right now!"
Fortunately he knows my breaking point and flashed me a toothy grin as his horns simultaneously vanished again.
"Dat's okay Mommy, you can buy more at the grocery store"!